Magic Products Review

TRANSFORMER CARD by Dan Burgess

Written by John Teo

It is difficult to categorise this effect.  Is it a puzzle or magic?  At best it can be termed a novelty.

This specially constructed card, when folded (or unfolded!), will turn itself inside-out, front to back (or vice-versa) and transform into another card.  The card itself is a puzzle – people are trying to figure out how it is possible to construct such a card.

Three different presentations are provided that attempt to put a magical element to this prop.
In “Transformer Card” (the title trick), a card is chosen from a deck, say, the King of Hearts (KH).  A prediction is shown to be the wrong card, say, Ten of Clubs (10C).  Magically, this card is folded (unfolded) and the 10C turns inside-out, and the back of the card is now showing.  Finally, it morphs into the correct card, KH.  Just as quickly, this KH becomes mismade, with its indices in the center inside of at its perimeter.  It then turns into a mismade 10C, finally, several folding of the card brings it back to the proper KH.
“It’s Always The ?” is a comedy presentation of the “Transformer Card”.  There is a slight difference in the presentation, and the climax is where the entire deck consists of the other card (10C in this case) which the spectator did not pick.
In “Inside-Out”, the chosen card is KH.  The prediction is shown as a wrong card, 10C.  It is then transformed into a proper KH.  However, when the spectator turns over his KH selection, she finds that it has now transformed into a mismade KH with its indices in the middle of the card!
You will be able to come out with different presentations, too!
The special card is well made and it flexes very smoothly.  The instruction DVD is also well produced.  In the DVD, Mark Mason performs and explains, and provides additional tips for the Transformer Card.
It is difficult to put a rating to this effect, too.  After considering its magical content and entertainment value, I give it a “4”.  If you like this type of effect, it will worth much more than the “4”.  If not, it will be much less than the rating of “4”.  (4/5 stars rating.)

TOOSH by Steve Haynes

Written by John Teo

Steve Haynes has come up with a wonderful gimmick that enables an easy, clean and visual transposition of 2 business cards.

“Toosh” is a card to impossible location routine using this gimmick.  You draw 2 different doodles on the blank backs of 2 business cards, say, a smiley and a heart.  A spectator then signs on both cards.  You show the 2 cards separately once again.  The spectator keeps the smiley card secured between both her palms while you put the heart card into your pocket.  When the spectator turns over her card in her hand, she gets the heart card instead.  She thinks her smiley card is in your pocket.  She gets a great shock when she finds that she is actually sitting on her signed smiley card all along!  Both cards can be safely left with the spectator as souvenirs!  Clean, convincing and easy to do.  You do not need any double lifts or false signatures.  Steve teaches a variation where the spectator can sign on both sides of the business cards.

“Tic-Tac-Dough” is a multi-phase routine.  It involves a “x” drawn on a business card and a “O” drawn on another business card.  Both cards can be signed.  A dollar note is placed to one side of the table.  One card (say, “O”) penetrates through the other card (“x”).  One card changes into a totally new card, with $$$ drawn on it.  The transformed card is then found beneath the dollar note placed earlier on the table.

You need to put together the gimmick yourself.  It is easy to do and takes just a few minutes of work.  The materials needed are provided with the instruction DVD. 

Also provided is a pocket vinyl wallet.  This wallet enables you to streamline some tricks.  One of the effects possible with the wallet is “Red/Black Ace Transpo”.  Just as the title implies, it is a clean transposition of the black Ace of Spades to the red Ace of Hearts.  Only 2 playing cards are used, and both cards can be signed to prevent any duplicate cards being used.

Another effect with the wallet is “Royal Prediction”.  You can predict in advance which one of the possible 20 royal flush cards will be named.

The “Toosh” gimmick is indeed capable of many other uses and presentations.  (4.5/5 stars rating.)

Paul Harris Presents Justin Miller's Freedom Pack

Written by John Teo

 

The Freedom Pack enables you to case a pack of playing cards instantly and visually. One moment you see a pack of loose playing cards, and almost in an instant, the entire pack gets inside a card case! The cards can then be taken out of this card case and be used in the continuation of the magic! This is a great benefit of the Freedom Pack. The change is really shocking to watch.

 

The downside? If the pack of cards were to be freely handled by both the spectators and yourself, you need to find an appropriate moment to secretly put the gimmick onto the pack of loose cards. Once the gimmick is put on, the pack still looks like it contains loose cards. However, limited actions can now be carried out with this deck combination.

 

Justin Miller, the originator of Freedom Pack, comes out with an ambitious card routine that addresses all the downside. A pack of cards is freely shuffled by a spectator. A card is freely selected and signed. During this momentary distraction, Justin loads the gimmick onto the pack. The signed card is inserted into the middle of the pack and it rises to the top. Once again, the signed card is inserted into the middle of the pack and it again rises to the top. At this stage, the magician says that this cannot be possible because the pack is actually inside the case. Almost instantly, the pack of loose cards gets inside the card case!

 

Another use of the Freedom Pack is to force a card without the need of holding any break in the pack. You run your thumb along the side of the pack while a spectator calls “stop”. The card stopped at is the force card.

 

Justin makes use of this force in a brilliant routine found as a bonus effect in the DVD. It is a brainwave type effect with a colour changing pack climax. A card is chosen from a red backed pack of cards. It is inserted in the middle of the face down red pack. Instantly, the pack is cased inside a blue card case. When the cards are removed from the case, all the cards have blue backs except the chosen card which is found face up in the middle of the pack. When this card is turned over, it is the only card with a red back!

 

You are supplied with the special pack and the instruction DVD. The DVD also teaches you how to construct the Freedom Pack from scratch in case your special pack has worn itself out. (4.5/5 stars rating)

FREAK! by Will Houston

Written by John Teo

 

This is a 4-phase bending and manipulation of your little finger that will freak people out because it is simply not humanly possible!

 

The little finger is pushed into the hand so that only its tip is visible. It is then pull out to its normal length again. The little finger is next bent inwards in a humanly impossible manner. It is straightened out and then bent outwards. Finally, all is well, and the little finger is snapped back into place.

 

Will Houston takes you step by step and teaches you how to perform each phase of this strange phenomenon. The moves appear to be frighteningly genuine as much of the finger being bent is not covered by the fingers of the other hand. The tips he gives for each phase are also quite relevant and valuable.

 

The entire effect is easy to do and can be done impromptu. You will not hurt yourself if you follow the instructions carefully. When performed properly, you are guaranteed to freak people out! Be careful when you perform for people who are squeamish!

 

Everything is revealed in this well produced DVD. This is highly recommended for people who like this type of effect. (5/5 stars rating)

 

DOUBLE CLIP LINE by Devin Knight

Written by John Teo

The old “Cutting The Newspaper Column” trick is based on such a subtle secret that magicians will want to exploit it for other variations. There is also a small weakness in this effect in that it has to be performed at a distance away from the audience so that the way the newspaper column is held is not obvious to the spectators. The creative Devin Knight has come up with new ideas and presentations and has overcome the small disadvantage.

 

Double Clip Line contains 3 different presentations for this wonderful effect.

 

In “Double Clip Line” (the same name as in the title), 2 different newspaper columns are used, instead of the usual one. They are marked “1” and “2” respectively so that the audience can tell them apart. Both columns are cut simultaneously at the top as well as at the bottom. The trick is performed up close to that the audience can read the lines in both columns. When you are told to stop cutting, the new top line on column 1 and the new bottom line on column 2 are read, and they match exactly a prediction you placed for safe keeping with one of the spectators. Devin has overcome the slight weakness of this trick and you get to predict not one but on 2 columns. There are no switches, and the trick practically works out itself. Great effect with the minimal of props and effort. I feel this is the best version of “Cutting The Newspaper Column” trick ever devised.

 

“Clip Word” is Devin’s variation using only one newspaper column. The spectator also has a choice of which end of the column they want you to snip off. It appears the audience has a complete control of the experiment, yet the column left after the cut is predicted in an envelope placed before the start of the trick.

The devious mind of Devin has come up with another version where you do not need to touch the column. In “No-Touch Clip Line”, the newspaper column (obviously ungimmicked) is handled by the spectator all the way. Yet the line left after the cut is predicted by you beforehand. This effect can even be performed over the telephone!


You will receive a 14 page well written manuscript plus a couple of items needed to perform one of the 3 effects. (5/5 stars rating)

 

 

CONTROL 2.0 by Wayne Houchin

Written by John Teo

This is an one-effect DVD that runs for more than 2 hours! What constitutes the long running time? Is it a multi-phase trick? Is there something complicated to construct or prepare? It is none of these.

 

One can actually explain the secret in less than 1 minute. It is just a move that you have to execute. However, the creator, Wayne Houchin, takes you through the entire effect – from setting the mood with your audience, to live performances, to the various techniques and subtleties.

 

Control 2.0 is the second edition of the original Control that was released some time ago.

 

The effect is that you ask a volunteer to feel your pulse on your wrist, and to count along with your steady heart beat. After a while, they feel your pulse gradually slowing down and then coming to a complete stop! Meanwhile the volunteer can see you closing your eyes and falling into a deep trance or sleep, and your entire body appears to become weak. Properly performed, this effect will freak out the volunteer as they personally experience the temporary stopping of your heart! After a short while, but long enough for anyone to know that it is impossible for anyone to go without a heart beat, your heart slowly beats again, and you regain your normal composure. This is indeed an eerie experience for the audience!

 

You will be glad to know that the method is completely safe and does not require any gimmicks – you can perform Control impromptu and at any time and venue.

 

Wayne Houchin is joined by his friends Daniel Garcia, Randall and Dexter at various segments in the DVD. Daniel Garcia contributes an entire different method to heart stopping. Called “Stop”, the effect is that of a volunteer placing their ear on your left chest area where your heart is. They can hear the soft pounding of your heart beat, when it gradually slows down and then stops completely for a while before picking up. Again, the method is totally safe and impromptu. There is also a discussion on how to perform Control when there is a professional doctor in the audience.

 

At the end credits, there is an impressive and comprehensive listing of research done on pulse-stopping, such as its history, advertisements, performers, and various methods including simulated pulse, gaffed and impromptu methods.

 

Unlike ordinary magic tricks, Control is an effect that borders on life and death. Properly performed, it is sure to create a great impact on any audience. (4.5/5 stars rating)